Cycling through Netflix

We all need a little down time every now and then.  From the die hard uber-trainer, to the guerrilla urban assault advocate and commuter, to the be seen classic cycle fashinista.  All of us will find our collective bums on a sofa instead of a saddle from time to time.

So the question is – how do you best spend that down time?  Why, watching cycling movies of course!

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Savage Sprints continue in Sac tonight

Sacramento’s Hot Italian is hosting the fourth installment of the Savage Sprints series.  As before, the event it intended not only to be a hell of a good time, but to also raise funds and awareness to the Sacramento Velodrome Association.  Over 40 racers are registered for the 4pm start time – including yours truly.  That’s right, amongst the racers you’ll find Just Another Cyclist spinning like mad.  Come cheer me on – because frankly I’ve no idea what I’m doing!

The Facebook page for the event currently lists registration as full – but I’ve heard rumor that spots for no-shows will potentially be offered to walk-ins.  However, given that at least some of us have Monday off, hanging out at Hot Italian, having drinks and watching roller racing is a fine way to spend a Sunday night.

Hot Italian is located at 16th & Q in Sacramento, with racing starting at 5pm.

I want my sport back

I fell in love with cycling watching folks play mental and physical games with each other to be the first to cross lines in the road.  While not particularly fond of “drama” I got some small enjoyment from the human stories behind the riders too.  I’ve taken doping allegations, personality conflicts and shifting alliances in stride and without any real detraction from the sport I love.

Until recently.  Really – Contador riding again without even actually getting a slap on the wrist?  And why am I supposed to care that Lance has retired – again?

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HTFU and get free stuff

Just Another Cyclist urges you to HTFU – and is willing to give away free stuff to those that do.

That’s right – we’re running a contest.  The challenge – find hidden instances of ‘HTFU’ around JustAnotherCyclist.com or the Just Another Cyclist Facebook page.  Anywhere you find those 4 letters strung together is a valid find.  It may be in the article itself.  It may be in a photo.  The only places that doesn’t count are user-submitted comments or third-party advertisements.

And what can you get?  The top three folks – based on the number of instances of HTFU found – will receive Action Wipesthe way to quickly clean up after a hard ride.  First place gets 7, second place 5 and third place gets 3 of the Just Another Cyclist special edition Action Wipes.  And there’s a special bonus prize available for you Sacramento residents.  There are three locations in Sacramento where you can find an item printed with both JustAnotherCyclist and HTFU.  Find any of the three and receive a bonus of 5 action wipes – regardless of any other prizes you may win.

How to enter

Search JustAnotherCyclist.com and the Just Another Cyclist Facebook page.  Note where you find them – include a URL or article title and description of where you found ‘HTFU’ written.  After you’ve found all that you can, send the details in an email to ross@justanothercyclist.com.

The contest runs from now until 11:59:59pm PST on March 1, 2011.  Include ‘HTFU’ somewhere in the subject line of the email.  The winners will be determined and notified on March 3.  Sorry – prizes will no be delivered to addresses outside of the US.

So start searching and score yourself some free Just Another Cyclist Action Wipes!!  And to get you started – you’ve already found 6 right on this page!

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Back from sabbatical

Well folks, you may have noticed the posts have been a wee bit thin and far between as of late.  Truth is I’ve been on sabbatical – which in my case means I’ve been pouring hours into my day job.  It has admittedly been a busy week – with a lot of late night scheduled work.  But there is a little more to it than that.  I started to skip riding to work because I was tired.  Then I started to get really crabby – because I was tired.  I work in computer systems, so the couple of minutes I did have away from work issues I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and put together a blog post.  I wanted to get as far away from my computer as possible.

Something funny started to happen though.  The more I put off riding my bike, the more grumpy I became, and the less I wanted to ride.  I even missed my group ride this morning.

It is a phenomenon that I know is not unique to me.  I’ve heard many others talk about it too.  Cycling is just downright addictive.  Many of us that do it a lot actually find our moods heading towards the darker side if we don’t get to ride consistently.  Sometimes you’ve just got to push through.  Just like that point in the climb on your bike where the quads are burning and you really don’t care if you get to the top or not.  You just push through.  Just keep spinning the pedals.

So I didn’t ride today – and haven’t ridden for 3 days or so.  Tomorrow I’m going to get up and ride – even if it is only 15 miles.  I’m going to do a couple of hours of work in the afternoon, and I’m going to record for a podcast in the evening.  Then Monday morning I’m going to ride my bike to work.  I’m going to stop whining, and catch up on all of the cycling news I’ve missed over the last week.  I’m going to start writing articles again.  I’m going to continue the efforts to get Sacramento’s first Virtual Alley cat race off the ground (stay tuned for more on that!)  I’m going to continue to go to work because I also love what I do – and it helps pay the bills to keep me in lycra.

And I’m going to keep writing.  Only next time won’t be about why I’m not writing…

Regular street closures in Sac on the horizion?

Two Sacramento City Council members – Steve Cohn and Jay Schenirer – are working with local SABA members to look into closing streets select streets to motor vehicle traffic in May, according to a Sacramento Bee report.  The idea is called a Ciclovia, and most definitely is not new.  The idea is to create a corridor in a city where cars are prohibited, opening up the space to cyclists, street vendors, pedestrians, etc. The target month of May also coincides with May is Bike Month.

Oakland has enjoyed some apparent success with their Oaklavia:

Email requests for comment to both Jay Schenirer and Steve Cohn have gone unanswered at the time of this writing.

More Bicycle Licensing Madness

It is human nature – when you are aware and think of a particular topic, you tend to find things related to that topic in the world around you.  Even so, my eyes kinda bugged out of my head when I ran across an article about a New Jersey lawmaker Cleopatra Tucker wanted mandatory license plates for bicycles.

Umm…  wasn’t I just talking about this just the other day?  The motivation for this bill was identical to what I speculated about in my previous post:
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Amira Fakira gets 4+ years for hitting cyclist

Amira Fakira was sentenced to 4 years, 4 months in prison for a Jan 31, 2010 hit-and-run.  On that night, Fakira stuck cyclist Sanjay Patel while he was riding his bike home from work.  Fakira did not stop, reportedly dragging Patel for over a quarter of a mile.  He was not dislodged from under Fakira’s vehicle until she executed a three point turn after striking another vehicle.  Fakira never stopped of her own accord, but rather had her keys forcibly removed from her vehicle ignition at a later stop light by a concerned witness.  Fakira was reportedly under the influence of both alcohol and prescription medication at the time of the incident.

Judge Ransom responded to Fakira and her attorney’s request for leniency by stating “The court feels that even though you’re eligible for probation, there is no way in good conscious I could in any way shape or form, offer you probation.”

Mandatory Use Law

Bicycle lanes are something of a double-edged sword in certain circumstances.  Study after study has shown that the presence of bicycle lanes has a positive effect on overall cycling.  However, some will argue that traditional bike lane placement – especially on city streets – comes with its own problems.  Usually, bike lanes are placed in the exact spot where drivers would get out of their cars when parallel parking next to the curb – the “door zone.”  Bike lanes can also put cyclists in conflict with motorists that are making right hand turns at stop lights.

One of the less obvious conflicts, however, are laws that are often referred to as “Mandatory Use Laws.”  California has just such a law on the books in the form of CVC 21208:
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80 miles on a damp Sat morning

Yet another great ride with the Cycle Folsom Peloton group today.  80 miles didn’t discourage me, but cleaning the bike from all the damned road grime and debris is discouraging.  Nothing like getting home, still cold and wet, only to look at your frame and know you need to turn on the hose.  By the end of the ride what I thought was a well-oiled chain sounded more like a cheese grater on a chalkboard.  Still, I never walk away from a Peloton ride with anything but positive thoughts.

You can read the full details of the ride at the Cycle Folsom Ride Leaders blog.